Hindustan Zinc’s Record Annual Silver and Metal Production with Strong Cost Resilience Amidst Lower Zinc Prices; PAT at INR 7,759 Crore

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Business Wire India

Key Highlights:
 
  • Hindustan Zinc is now the 3rd largest silver producer globally, with highest silver annual production, up 5% y-o-y
  • Holds 2nd largest zinc reserves and resources globally
  • Industry leading production growth rate with best-ever annual metal production
  • Highest-ever quarterly refined metal production for Q4 FY24, up 6% sequentially
  • 1st decile of the global zinc mines cost curve; lowest annual COP in last 3 years at US$ 1,117/MT
  • Quarterly Revenue up by 3% and EBITDA up by 2%
  • Ranked first globally in S&P Sustainability Assessment in Metals and Mining sector
Hindustan Zinc Limited (“HZL”), the leading global integrated producer of zinc, lead and silver, reported its results for the fourth quarter and full year ended March 31, 2024.

Commenting on the performance, Mr. Arun Misra, CEO, said: “FY 2023-24 has been a year of solid growth for HZL, with mined metal, refined metal, and silver recording its highest historic production levels, supported by a backdrop of fatality-free operations. As part of our strategy, it was driven by our increased focus on silver & metal production and cost optimisation. The company withstood the market headwinds during the year, ensuring preservation of margins and shareholder value. Fuelled by our robust silver maximisation strategy, I am thrilled to announce that HZL has now become the 3rd largest silver producer globally. Additionally, during the quarter, HZL also incorporated ‘Hindmetal Exploration Services Private Limited’, as a wholly owned subsidiary, with an objective to explore, discover, develop and tap mineral resources aligning with the national focus and vision. 

Our commitment on the sustainability efforts remains robust. I am happy to share that our renewable energy (RE) power delivery agreement of 450 MW is advancing well and the first flow of RE power is now preponed and expected to begin in April’24, contributing to our journey towards achieving net zero targets. Our company has been awarded the CII National HR Excellence Award underscoring our exemplary people practices. With the full implementation of commissioned projects, HZL is poised for another exceptional year ahead.”

Mr. Sandeep Modi, CFO, said: “Despite the plunging metal prices, HZL has consistently sustained its margin at a steady 47% by recording its fifth consecutive quarter of sustained cost reduction, clocking the lowest cost in last 3 years. This demonstrates the effectiveness of our agile decision-making strategy, with instances such as maximization of silver production leveraging the soaring silver prices, power plant modifications ensuring better linkage coal consumption thereby lowering the power costs along with operational & commercial efficiencies. I firmly believe that the challenges encountered throughout the year have strengthened our resilience and fortitude, propelling us to strive for even greater performance in the upcoming year towards our aspired annual targets and strong balance sheet.”
 
Operational Performance 

Mined metal production for the quarter was 299 kt, up 11% sequentially, driven by higher ore production across mines, further supplemented by improved mined metal grades, but marginally down y-o-y. The full year mined metal recorded the best-ever production of 1,079 kt, up 2% y-o-y on account of improved mined metal grades.

Refined metal production for the quarter stood at 273 kt, its highest-ever. The production was up 6% sequentially on account of better plant availability, and up 1% y-o-y. Refined metal production for the full year stood at its highest-ever, reaching 1,033 kt, marginally up y-o-y.

Refined zinc production for the quarter was 220 kt, up 9% sequentially and 2% y-o-y. Refined lead production for the quarter was 53 kt, down 5% sequentially and 2% y-o-y. For the full year, refined zinc production stood at 817 kt, marginally down y-o-y, and refined lead production was at 216 kt, up 3% y-o-y, on account of pyro operations being operated on lead mode for longer duration during the year to maximize silver production.

Saleable silver production for the quarter was 189 MT, down 4% q-o-q in line with lead metal production, partly offset by WIP depletion, and up 4% y-o-y on account of WIP depletion during the quarter. Full year saleable silver production stood at its ever highest of 746 MT, up 5% y-o-y in line with lead metal production.

Financial Performance

Revenue from operations during the quarter was INR 7,549 Crore, up 3% q-o-q on account of better zinc volumes partly offset by lower lead & silver volumes, and lower metal prices. The revenue plunged by 11% y-o-y on account of significantly lower zinc & lead prices and lower lead volume, partly offset by increased zinc & silver volumes, silver prices and favourable exchange rates.

Revenue from operations for the full year stood at INR 28,932 Crore, down 15% y-o-y on account of lower zinc prices and volumes, and strategic hedging impact in base period partly offset by better silver & lead volumes and prices, and favourable exchange rates.

Zinc cost of production before royalty (COP) for the quarter stood at US$ 1,051 (INR 87,284) per MT, lower by 4% q-o-q and 13% y-o-y in both US$ and INR terms. Zinc COP for the full year was US$ 1,117 (INR 92,470) per MT, down by 11% y-o-y (8% lower in INR terms). Cost improvement is majorly on account of better grades, softened coal and input commodity prices and better linkage coal materialization partly offset by lower acid realisation.

EBITDA for the quarter was INR 3,637 Crore, up 2% q-o-q and down 14% y-o-y in line with the revenue from operations and cost, and for FY24, EBITDA was INR 13,677 Crore, down 22% y-o-y, mainly on account of lower revenue partly offset by cost improvement.

Net profit for the quarter stood at INR 2,038 Crore, marginally up sequentially and down 21% y-o-y. FY24 net profit was at INR 7,759 Crore, down 26% y-o-y, primarily on account of lower EBITDA partly offset by lower tax expense.

Contribution to the exchequer

During the year, the Company contributed INR 13,197 Crore to the Government treasury.

Outlook for FY25 

Both mined metal and refined metal production in FY25 is expected to be higher than last year, given the ramp-up of all major projects commissioned in the last year and better capacity utilization. Mined metal is expected to be between 1,100-1,125 kt & refined metal production in the range of 1,075-1,100 kt.

FY25 saleable silver production is projected to be between 750-775 MT.

Zinc cost of production in FY25 is expected to be in between US$ 1,050-1,100 per MT. Project capex for the year is expected to be in the range of US$ 270-325 million.